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SSAFA

Veteran battling mental health marches 10km every day for charity carrying 30kg

Gareth Humphrey is marching 10K a day whilst carrying 30KG on his back until lockdown ends to raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and awareness for Changing Minds.

The target of £1,000 was set and Gareth has already smashed this, with the total now currently standing at £1,400.

Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Gareth was diagnosed with PTSD following a breakdown in February 2020, after 17 combined years in both the Army and Fire and Rescue service.

Gareth found himself living alone in a caravan relying on food banks and charity handouts to survive. SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity managed to get housing sorted for Gareth just before Christmas and now Gareth wants to give back to others in the Armed Forces and inspire people to get moving in lockdown within their safe restrictions. 

Gareth Humphrey said:

“I actually hit rock bottom. If it wasn’t for the charities that I am raising money for, I can safely say I wouldn’t be here today.” 

“Like so many others, especially as we move through the pandemic, mental health ‘the invisible injury’ is often seen as a weakness or miss understood. I hope with my actions to raise awareness and money to help others that unfortunately find themselves in my situation.” 

“I have been walking every day since the third lockdown and have not missed a day! As I have progressed through the challenge, I have realised how many different people I have impacted and encouraged to get outside. From speaking to and reading people’s comments I now feel a responsibility to help others keep positive throughout this lockdown period.” 

When lockdown ends, Gareth will complete his final 10k whilst carrying 60kg to represent carrying someone who has died from PTSD. Gareth is doing this to represent his own life too, as he said:

If it wasn’t for the charities that I am raising money for, I can safely say I wouldn’t be here today.”

SSAFA is there to support the serving, reservists, veterans, and their families. If you need help, please reach out: ssafa.org.uk/get-help/forcesline

You can follow Gareth’s journey here and watch as he documents this process through videos: https://www.facebook.com/10k-a-day-102789458444790/

If you would like to donate to Gareth’s Just Giving page, please do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gareth-humphrey-1

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